Generation tXt

Now that students understand the impact of distracted driving and the incidence of distracted driving in their classroom or community, students will delve into an analysis of a distracted driving film, and will follow up with discussions and written responses.

Students will identify and analyze the dangers of distracted driving.


  • Analytical thinking
  • Participate in collaborative discussions
  • Express an opinion and provide supporting detail

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze a PSA presentation on distracted driving.
  • Initiate and participate in a discussion about distracted driving, messaging and communication, and advocacy through PSA media.
  • Evaluate the point of view, decisions, use of evidence, ideas, word choice, and more features of an effective PSA.

Generation tXt video, note cards, chairs, and box of props


Introduction (11 minutes)
Watch Generation tXt (11 minutes).

Divide students into three groups. Students will rotate through three modules, spending 10 minutes at each module.

Module 1: React and Reflect (10 minutes)
In this module, students will react and reflect on the film as a group. Write these discussion questions on note cards to be placed at the module:

  • In the film, whose story was most compelling for you and why?
  • What message did the writers want the viewer to take away from the video? Were they successful? Why or why not? 
  • What information had the biggest impact? If you were making this video, what additional information would you have included?

Students choose one question to discuss at a time.

Module 2: Creating a Memorable Message (10 minutes)
Students will build on the message of Generation tXt to write their own message about distracted driving. Students discuss the message from Generation tXt and whether or not it was effective (3 minutes). Then, students create a message (one sentence) about distracted driving that they think will resonate with their peers (7 minutes).

Provide students with note cards listing effective messaging techniques to consider in their discussion:

  • Creating buzz or conversation starters
  • Using emotional triggers
  • Stating and either affirming or challenging a belief
  • The use of similes or metaphors 
  • The use of statistics and data
  • Use of humor
Module 3: In the Director's Chair (10 minutes)
Working in subgroups of two to four, students write a script for a 20-second commercial about distracted driving (7 minutes). Then they perform their scenes using classroom chairs as "car seats" and other props (cell phones, etc.) (7 minutes).

Conclusion (4 minutes)
Working independently, students choose one response question and write a 2-minute essay response to one of the following questions:

  • What are the challenges of creating an effective public service announcement? How do advocates for safe driving address those challenges when creating commercials?
  • What goes into creating an effective message? How does the intended audience affect the creation of a message? 
  • What kind of impact can an advocacy commercial have on behavior?


  • Using the list of advertising techniques from Module 2 and brainstorming more of your own, make a list of advertising techniques that are the most effective for teen audiences. Which were used in Generation tXt?
  • Provide each group with time to perform their commercial from Module 3 in front of the class. Have the class critique and give feedback about the effectiveness of each commercial. Students can incorporate that feedback into their commercial.
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